Anxiety Ruined my Life...A Letter To Myself
A lot of you may/may not know that I have been deeply affected by anxiety my whole life. Sometimes it's manageable, sometimes it takes over my life. There is no pattern to it, no rules and no warning. It comes when it wants to and leaves when it's done.
I want to write this post as almost a letter to myself about 4 years ago. I had anxiety, but I had NO IDEA that I had it. I thought I was 'stressed' by the brutality of drama school (I was), or it was just something that you go through in your early 20's (it is). The reality didn't hit me for years, so this is a letter to my younger self. Firstly to help me realise how far I have come and secondly to help any of you who are in the same situation as I was in.
Remember how it started, you started to get het up about tiny situations, unable to make decisions and many times suffered from a foggy brain?. Remember the first doctor you went too, who told you that you suffered from stress and you needed to stop everything.
Remember it getting worse? Being passed from doctor to doctor, to the hospital and back again. Each one not really giving you an answer and just passing you to the next specialist.
I want you to go back to 3 years ago. The sleepless nights, the cold sweats, nausea, painful muscles, dizziness and sometimes scarily unable to string a sentence together. Go back to the time where you were on the tube, couldn't move and couldn't speak. When nothing in your body was communicating and everyone around you seemed to blur. When the noise was unbearable and your body shut down.
Everyone said you were unhappy, but you weren't and you knew deep down you WERE happy. You were in the 'best' years of your life and loving every day but still got hit by these symptoms. It just didn't make sense.
Georgie, I want you to remember how you convinced yourself each week that something was not working in your body. Hormones, intolerances, allergies, organ failure etc. How your mind was playing tricks on you.
Now in the present moment, wherever you are sitting now think about how far you have come. You are grateful for awareness, for the final realisation that anxiety was ruining your life. Lastly, thankful for how proud you are to come out of the other end.
Each day is a new chance to be EVEN stronger, you got this.
Love Georgie xxx
Do I have anxiety now?
I hope that some of you relate to that letter, and maybe even write one yourself. Anxiety is a an illness on its own. It is not just mentally affecting but can cause serious physical symptoms too. Not being in denial is the first step to recovery. So after years of horrific anxiety has it suddenly gone? NO. I still live with it daily, and I probably will for the rest of my life but I have learned how to control it. There are some key things I have learned on the way that I want to share with you:
- Anxiety feels different to stress
- Anxiety is a PHYSICAL + MENTAL disorder
- Anxiety can hide so well
- You can have anxiety even if you are not going through a 'hard time'
- Anxiety can take over your mind and life
- Anxiety can make you physically unwell
My aim is by sharing my story I can bring awareness to mental health and how detrimental it can be. Please seek some help if you are not feeling yourself or you know that something is off.